What Is a Virus?

A virus, specifically a computer virus, is malicious software that infiltrates a user’s computer without their knowledge or consent.

Once inside the computer, the virus can perform various harmful operations.

The term “virus” was coined by Fred Cohen in 1983, drawing a parallel between computer viruses and infectious viruses that spread among humans.

Unwanted Infiltration

Computers typically become infected with a virus when a user unwittingly downloads and installs infected files or programs.

The virus attaches itself to other files or programs, allowing it to execute its operations when the host program is run. It can also replicate itself and spread to other files or programs.

It is important to note that each computer virus is designed differently.

While some viruses carry out malicious actions, such as destroying data, others may remain dormant until a specific trigger prompts their code to activate.

Evasion Tactics

Viruses can also spread when infected software or documents are transferred between computers using networks, USB drives, hard drives, or other means of data transfer.

Some viruses employ stealth techniques to evade detection by antivirus software, especially if the software is outdated.

They may infect files without increasing their size or terminate the processes associated with antivirus software to avoid detection.